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Happy birthday to Broadway legend Carol Channing (pictured), who turned 91 on January 31. A new feature-film documentary, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, opened in Los Angeles on January 20 and will open in New York next week. The film features interviews with Channing, several stage and TV stars, and with her late husband Harry Kullijian, who died this past December 26, a day before his 92nd birthday.
Road Less Traveled Productions will kick off its 2012-13 season with Endesha Ida Mae Holland’s From the Mississippi Delta, directed by Verneice Turner who was in the original three-woman cast when the play premiered at Ujima many years ago. Back then the play moved to New York’s Henry Street Settlement and off-Broadway to Theater Four. Years later the play was presented at London’s Young Vic, in several regional theaters around the country (not in Buffalo), and back at New York’s Circle in the Square downtown, co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. The season will also include the world premieres of 2012-The End of the Road by Jon Elston, April Jones, and Mark Witteveen; Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker; and Seeds by Donna Hoke, directed by Kristen Tripp Kelley. Sara Ruhl’s The Clean House, starring Victoria Perez, will end the season.
David Lindsay-Abaire’s hilarious Wonder of the World opens February 10 at the Buffalo Laboratory Theatre’s performance space in Hilbert College. Directed by Taylor Doherty, the production stars Golde, Katie White, Dan Walker, David Bondrow, Pamela Rose Mangus, Larry Smith, Jim Sturm, and Tara Kaczorowski.
UB Department of Theatre & Dance will present Caryl Churchill’s Fen, February 29-March 4, at the Black Box Theatre in UB’s Center for the Arts. The production will be directed by Jerry Finnegan. Meanwhile, Buffalo State’s Theater Department will present The Laramie Project, February 8-18, in the Burchfield Penney Art Center, directed by Joseph Price. Conceived and written by by Moises Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project, The Laramie Project chronicles the events surrounding Matthew Shepard’s murder in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming.
On Sunday, February 12 at 6:30pm, the Aegis Project will be holding a benefit performance of William Matrosimone’s Extremities at the Manny Fried Playhouse. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will help support the tour of the production to area colleges in the upcoming weeks. Directed by Chris LaBanca, the production stars Kristin Bentley, Kelly Meg Brennan, Marie Hasselback Costa, and John Kaczorowski.
Buffalo’s own V-Day production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues will once again be staged at the Unitarian Universalist Church (695 Elmwood Avenue) on February 1h and 18 at 8pm, directed by Kelly Beuth. Now in its 10th year, the production is part of the author’s global movement to end violence against women and girls. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door. Proceeds will go to the Crisis Services Advocate Program.
The cabaret-style show Gentlemen’s Gentlemen will return for a three-week run beginning March 16 at O’Connell & Company. Based on the Diva by Diva format, the show replaces the previously announced Painting Churches.
Later in the spring, Subversive Theatre Collective will present Charles Busch’s Red Scare on Sunset, starring Christopher Standart as1950s Hollywood star Mary Dale, who discovers that her husband has joined the local Communist party. Directed by David Bondrow, the production will also star Mike Seitz, Mike Votta, Jamie Doktor, Kevin Craig, Scot Kaitanowski, Marc-Jon Fillipone, Joy Scime, and Megan Piret. Busch’s new biblical comedy, Judith of Bethulia, opens in New York at the end of March.
Jerry Kelly’s The Mystery Company returns to the Lancaster Opera House February 10-19 with Agatha Chritie’s And Then There Were None (also known as Ten Little Indians), directed by Les Bailey. According to the theater press release, “during the run of this production The Mystery Company will hit a milestone; playing to their 65,000th patron since first appearing at the Opera House in 1997.” And Christie is also hitting a milestone: Her play The Mousetrap will celebrate its 60th anniversary in London this year.
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